China-US relations

Donald Trump claims US lags behind China on trade as he opens talks with Xi Jinping

President says United States ‘has to change its policy because we are so far behind’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 November, 2017, 11:47am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 November, 2017, 4:00pm

US President Donald Trump opened talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping by saying that US trade policies had to be adjusted because they were lagging behind other countries.

China held a high-level welcoming ceremony for Trump, with a parade by a military guard of honour, before the two leaders started the serious talks, in which trade and North Korea were expected to be on the agenda.

“The US really has to change its policy because we have gotten so far behind in trade with China, and frankly, with other countries,” Trump said in his opening remarks broadcast live by state-run media. “We’ll make it fair.”

Before he left on his 12-day Asian tour, Trump pledged to cut the trade deficit with China, which last year stood at US$347 billion.

For his part, Xi said relations between China and the United States were “at a new historical starting point”.